Sam Barnes and the top-ranked Irish defense boast a 5.90 goals-against average.

No. 1 Notre Dame At No. 4 Syracuse On Saturday Night

April 28, 2011

Complete Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game 11 – Saturday, April 30 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, N.Y.

#1 NOTRE DAME (10-0, 5-0 BIG EAST)
#4 SYRACUSE (12-1, 4-0 BIG EAST)

ESPNU (Live)
Play-by-Play: Eamon McAnaney
Analyst: Quint Kessenich
Sideline: Paul Carcaterra


Irish Alert! text messaging (sign up on

– No. 1 Notre Dame (10-0, 5-0) will visit No. 4 Syracuse (12-1, 4-0) for a key BIG EAST showdown on Saturday night. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Carrier Dome. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Eamon McAnaney will handle play-by-play duties, while Quint Kessenich will serve as the analyst. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline reporter. – This will be the fifth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Orange has won the four previous encounters. Syracuse topped Notre Dame 12-6 last season at Arlotta Stadium. – The Fighting Irish are making their second appearance inside the Carrier Dome. Syracuse captured a 19-13 home victory over Notre Dame during the 2004 campaign. – Two of the previous showdowns have taken place during the NCAA Tournament. The Orange defeated the Irish 12-5 during the 2001 semifinals in Piscataway, N.J. Syracuse produced an 11-9 win over Notre Dame during the quarterfinals of the 2008 tournament in Ithaca, N.Y.

– Notre Dame is off to a 10-0 start for the second time in program history (31 seasons). The other occurrence came in 2009 when the Irish began the season 15-0. The Fighting Irish are the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse. – The Irish are coming off a 14-3 victory at Providence on Saturday. The 14 goals were a season-high total for Notre Dame. It also marked the third time this season the Irish defense has held an opponent to three goals or fewer for an entire game. – Notre Dame’s defense ranks first nationally with a 5.90 goals-against average, which is on pace to eclipse the program-record mark of 6.19 from the 2009 season. – The Irish will conclude the regular season next Friday at No. 9 North Carolina (8 p.m. ET on ESPNU).

– Syracuse is 12-1 overall and 4-0 in BIG EAST play. The Orange is coming off a 12-2 victory over Rutgers last Saturday. – Syracuse is averaging 10.54 goals per game on offense, while allowing 7.23 per game defensively. – The lone Orange loss came against Cornell (11-6). Syracuse is 6-1 at home this season. – Senior attackman Stephen Keogh leads Syracuse in goals (26) and points (33). Sophomore attackman/midfielder JoJo Marasco has a team-best 15 assists. Senior John Galloway has started all 13 games in goal. He carries a 6.85 goals-against average and a .557 save percentage. – Syracuse went 13-2 last season, which included a 6-0 mark in BIG EAST play. The Orange fell at home to Army, 9-8 in double-overtime, during the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Head coach John Desko is in his 13th season at the helm of the Syracuse program.

– Syracuse topped Notre Dame 12-6 last season at Arlotta Stadium. It was the regular-season finale for the Fighting Irish. The Orange was ranked No. 2 at the time of the contest, while the Irish were 12th. The 12 goals were the most surrendered by Notre Dame all of last season. – The Orange jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, yet the Irish responded with four straight tallies to make it a one-goal affair (5-4) by the 9:45 mark of the third quarter. Syracuse led 8-6 after three periods and outscored Notre Dame 4-0 in the final stanza. – Stephen Keogh scored a game-high four goals for Syracuse. Current junior attackman Nicholas Beattie led the Irish with three points on one goal and two assists. – Notre Dame owned a 32-30 edge in shots. Syracuse held a 14-8 advantage in faceoffs. Scott Rodgers made nine saves for the Fighting Irish, while John Galloway had eight stops for the Orange.

– The Notre Dame defense registered scoreless streaks of 20:59 and 28:06 last Saturday against Providence. The Irish kept the Friars off the scoreboard during the fourth quarter. That marked the 10th time this season Notre Dame has kept an opponent off the scoreboard for an entire quarter. – The Irish have shut out an opponent during the fourth quarter five times this season. Notre Dame has not allowed a fourth-quarter goal in four of its last five games. – The Irish defense has put together a scoreless stretch of 20 minutes or longer nine times this season. The longest such stretch was 32:30 against Drexel. The Dragons did not score from the 9:27 mark of the first quarter until the 6:57 mark of the third quarter. Notre Dame out scored Drexel 5-0 during that time en route to the 11-7 victory. – The Fighting Irish held both Penn State and Rutgers scoreless during two quarters. The Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knight both were held without a goal during the second on fourth quarters. – Rutgers scored just one goal in the final 45:02 of the contest. Notre Dame kept Rutgers off the scoreboard for the final 23:50 of the game.

– Notre Dame’s 14 goals against Providence were the most for the Irish since a 14-7 victory over Denver last season. The 11-goal margin of victory was the largest for the Irish since a 12-point win over Dartmouth (19-7) during the 2009 campaign. – The Irish have reached a double-figure goal total four times this season. – Notre Dame had eight assists on its eight goals in the victory at Rutgers (March 27). The eight assists matched a season-high total that the Irish also achieved in an 11-7 win over Drexel (March 6).

– Junior midfielder Max Pfeifer on Monday was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll for his three-goal effort in the 14-3 win over Providence. It was the second career hat trick for Pfeifer.

– Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 28-12 in the second quarter and 29-10 in the fourth quarter.

– Notre Dame has used key runs to secure four of its victories this season. – Notre Dame and St. John’s were tied 7-7 after three quarters and the Irish outscored the Red Storm 3-0 in the fourth quarter en route to the 10-7 victory on April 16. – Versus Villanova on April 2, the Wildcats sliced the Irish lead to one (9-8) with five seconds left in the third quarter and Notre Dame went on to outscore the Wildcats 3-0 in the fourth quarter to produce the 12-8 victory. – Against Denver on March 12, Notre Dame broke open a 7-7 tie with three straight goals to claim a 10-7 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Irish held on to win 10-9. – In the win over Drexel on March 6, Notre Dame trailed 6-5 after three quarters, but finished the game on a 6-1 run to capture the 11-7 victory.

– Notre Dame has surrendered the first goal in six of its 10 games this season yet the Irish have gone on to win each contest. – The Irish have led at halftime during eight of their 10 games this season. The only time Notre Dame has trailed at the intermission was against St. John’s. The Irish were down to the Red Storm 5-2 at halftime, yet went on to win 10-7.

– Sophomore goalie John Kemp has all 10 decisions in goal this season. He ranks second nationally in both goals-against average (5.96) and save percentage (.631).

– Since the beginning of the 2007 season (a span of 75 games), Notre Dame has surrendered 10 goals or more in a game just nine times and the Irish defense has limited opponents to seven goals or fewer 52 times during that stretch. The Fighting Irish have not allowed a double-digit goal total in its last 14 games dating back to last season. – Notre Dame has limited foes to four goals or fewer 13 times since the beginning of the 2007 campaign.

– Notre Dame’s 10 victories equals the Irish win total from last season (10-7). The Fighting Irish have notched a double-digit win total in each of the past six seasons.

– The Fighting Irish defense currently ranks first nationally by allowing just 5.90 goals per game. Notre Dame has the country’s 10th-best man-down defense (.762). – Notre Dame had the nation’s second-best defense in 2010 by producing a 7.53 goals-against average. The Irish produced the nation’s sixth-best man-down defense (.750) in 2010. – Goalie Scott Rodgers in 2010 led all NCAA Division I goalies with a .605 save percentage and ranked third in goals-against with a 7.56 average. – Notre Dame had the nation’s top defense in 2009 by producing a school-record 6.19 goals-against average. – The Irish had the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense in 2008 by allowing 7.04 goals per game. In 2007, Notre Dame ranked fourth nationally with a then school record 6.66 mark.

– When Notre Dame assumed the No. 1 ranking last week in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches’ poll, it marked the first time in program history that the Fighting Irish have been ranked No. 1 in either poll.

– Senior midfielder David Earl has tallied nine points on six goals and three assists over the past three games.

– Notre Dame has garnered six BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors this season. Senior midfielder Zach Brenneman (Feb. 21), junior attackman Sean Rogers (Mar. 28) and senior midfielder David Earl (Apr. 18) have been named the league’s offensive player of the week, while senior defenseman Kevin Ridgway (Feb. 28) and sophomore goalie John Kemp (Apr. 11 & Apr. 18) have been selected as the defensive player of the week. – The Fighting Irish have totaled seven BIG EAST weekly honor roll citations. Kemp and Earl are two-time honorees, while Brenneman, sophomore attackman Ryan Foley and junior midfielder Max Pfeifer have garnered the honor once each.

– Notre Dame seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are among a group of 25 nominees up for the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse player.

– The Irish have had at least five different goal scorers in every game this season. Notre Dame’s high-water mark for goal scorers in a game this season is eight against both Drexel and Providence. – The Fighting Irish have had 13 different players tally a goal this season.

– Seven Notre Dame players have registered a hat trick this season. Zach Brenneman, David Earl, Ryan Foley, Westy Hopkins, Colin Igoe, Max Pfeifer and Sean Rogers all have one hat trick this season.

– Irish attackmen have accounted for 53 of Notre Dame’s 98 goals (54.1%) this season. Junior attackman Sean Rogers has a team-high 15 goals, while senior attackmen Colin Igoe has 11. Freshman Westy Hopkins has 10 tallies, while sophomore Ryan Foley has seven. Junior attackman Nicholas Beattie has six goals and senior Edison Parzanese has four. – Last season, Notre Dame’s attacking unit accounted for 36.1% of the team’s goal production. Irish attackmen scored 56 of the team’s 155 goals in 2010.

– Junior attackman Sean Rogers leads the Fighting Irish in goals (15) and points (21) this season. His six assists rank second on the team. The goal and assist totals both are career-high numbers for Rogers. – Rogers matched a career-high total with three goals against Ohio State (March 23) and followed that performance up with a career-high three assists versus Rutgers (March 27). – Rogers has a team-best 12-game point streak dating back to last season. Rogers also owns a team-best eight-game goal streak.

– Despite missing four games this season due to injury, senior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving still has posted a career-high six points. His three goals tie a career-high number that he also achieved last season. Irving’s three assists are a career-best figure. – Irving scored a single-game career-high two goals in the season opener against Duke. Irving gave the Irish their first lead of the contest (3-2) with 5:17 left in the first half. Notre Dame would never relinquish that lead. Irving deposited the final goal of the game to make it a 12-7 victory. – Irving dished out a career-high two assists in the 8-7 win over Ohio State (March 23). He also picked up a season-high four ground balls against the Buckeyes.

– Freshman attackman Westy Hopkins has tallied 10 goals this season. He has started the past two contests. – Hopkins notched the first hat trick of his career in the 12-8 win over Villanova on April 2. – Hopkins netted two goals in his collegiate debut, a 12-7 season-opening win over Duke. He also scored twice in his home debut versus Drexel, an 11-7 victory.

– Senior defenseman Sam Barnes is back for a fifth season after missing all of the 2010 campaign due to injury. Barnes, an All-America honoree in 2009, has started all 10 games this season. BEATING THE BEST – Five of Notre Dame’s 10 wins have come against opponents that were ranked at the time of the meetings. The Irish bested #5 Duke 12-7 in the season opener. Notre Dame also topped #8 Villanova (12-8), #14 Denver (10-9), #16 Drexel (11-7) and #20 Ohio State (8-7).

– The Fighting Irish have a 54.5% (104-191) faceoff winning percentage this season. That mark ranks 19th nationally. Individually, freshman Liam O’Connor ranks 19th nationally with a .550 (66-120) winning percentage. Senior Jake Marmul is 38-71 (.535) in the faceoff circle. – Against Ohio State on March 23, O’Connor and Marmul combined to go 16-19 (.842). – Notre Dame has produced one of the nation’s top faceoff units over the past few seasons. The Irish won 54.3% (185-341) of their attempts last season to rank 17th nationally. – The Irish produced the nation’s ninth-best faceoff winning percentage (.556) in 2009. Notre Dame ranked second nationally in 2008 (.628) and 15th (.546) in 2007.

– The Irish have a .280 shooting percentage, while their opponents have a .203 mark. Junior attackman Sean Rogers ranks sixth nationally with a .469 shot percentage.

– Notre Dame has compiled a 70-20 (.778) record over the past six seasons, including this year. The Fighting Irish have earned five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame was the national finalist in 2010 and also made a quarterfinal trek in 2008.

– The Notre Dame-Drexel game on March 6 drew 1,626 fans inside the Loftus Sports Center. That is a men’s lacrosse record crowd for the Loftus Center. The previous mark was 1,437 from the 2009 showdown against North Carolina. – The Irish averaged 3,171 fans over their last three games outside at Arlotta Stadium (Villanova, Georgetown & St. John’s).

– Notre Dame boasts an all-time home record of 136-38 (.782).

– The Fighting Irish will appear on the ESPN family of networks five times during the 2011 campaign. Notre Dame’s Champion Challenge contest versus the U.S. National Team (Jan. 30) was aired on ESPNU, while the season opener versus Duke (Feb. 20) was on ESPN. ESPNU broadcasted Notre Dame’s home BIG EAST tilt versus Georgetown on April 10. ESPNU also will cover road games against Syracuse (April 30) and North Carolina (May 6).

– The Fighting Irish have six teams on their 2011 slate that appear in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches’ poll. Notre Dame opened the season with a 12-7 win over current #7 Duke and followed that up with a road win at #20 Penn State (6-2). The Irish won at current #6 Denver (10-9) and claimed a 12-8 home victory over #10 Villanova. The Fighting Irish also will face #4 Syracuse (April 30) and #9 North Carolina (May 6).

– Notre Dame’s 49-man roster hails from 15 different states. The states most represented are Maryland with 12 and New York with eight.

– The Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team used the Georgetown game on April 10 as a platform to further their Playing for Peace initiative. This past December the Irish organized a 3v3 basketball tournament and Stand with Sudan peace rally to encourage students to play, pray and advocate for peace in Sudan. – Later in December, a delegation from the University of Notre Dame, including representatives of the men’s lacrosse program travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby both elected and appointed government officials to support peacekeeping efforts in Sudan during the lead up and eventual expiration of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. – In January, a referendum took place and there was a unique opportunity for the people of South Sudan to exercise the power of self-determination. The south voted for independence and now are in the process of becoming the world’s newest nation. – Sudan continues to face many challenges; as a new nation, South Sudan is very vulnerable to internal and external conflicts, violence and injustice continue to cause suffering in Darfur. – Following the Georgetown game there was a 7v7 inter-hall Playing for Peace lacrosse tournament on the men’s lacrosse practice field. At halftime of the Notre Dame-Georgetown game the Irish men’s lacrosse team recognized all those that have supported the Playing for Peace initiative.

– Notre Dame’s 12-7 win over Duke in the season opener marked the first time the Fighting Irish have defeated the defending national champion. The Irish had been 0-3 against defending national champs. Notre Dame’s first crack at defeating the defending national champion came in 1994 as Princeton topped the Irish 6-4. The other two occurrences came against Syracuse. The Orange bested the Irish 12-5 during the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Last season, the defending NCAA Champion Orange defeated Notre Dame 12-6.

– Fighting Irish sophomore goalie John Kemp is the younger brother of former Notre Dame All-America goalie Joey Kemp. The older Kemp starred in goal for the Irish from 2005-08 and earned All-America honors three times. He notched a 40-14 record to establish the Irish record for wins in goal. In 2008, he became just the second student-athlete, and the first goalie, in program history to earn first team All-America honors. He also received the 2008 Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in NCAA Division I. – John and Joey’s older brother C.J. was an All-America goalie at Fairfield from 2000-03.

– The 2011 Notre Dame roster features two sets of brothers. Twins Billy and Patrick Maloney are senior midfielders. Freshman midfielder Tyler Brenneman joins his older brother Zach, a senior midfielder, on the Irish roster.

– Notre Dame fell to the United States National Team, 12-7, on Jan. 30 during the Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla. Team USA scored the game’s first seven goals, yet the Fighting Irish responded with four straight tallies to slice the deficit to three (7-4) by the end of the third quarter. The U.S. National Team out scored the Irish 5-3 in the final quarter. – Irish senior attackman Colin Igoe had a team-high two goals in the game. Sophomore goalie John Kemp played the entire contest and made 10 saves. – Former Notre Dame All-American Scott Rodgers (2006-10) played the entire second half in goal for Team USA and made nine saves.

– Seniors Zach Brenneman (M), David Earl (M), Andrew Irving (LSM) and Kevin Ridgway (D) are first-time captains for the Fighting Irish.

– Notre Dame has earned five straight trips to the NCAA Championship and the Irish have made 15 tournament appearances since 1990. – The Fighting Irish were national finalists in 2010 and national semifinalists in 2001. Notre Dame has three other NCAA quarterfinal appearances (1995, 2000, 2008). – Notre Dame is competing in its 31st season of varsity lacrosse. The Fighting Irish have an all-time record of 280-145 (.659). Kevin Corrigan is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. He has a record of 216-103 (.677) during his Notre Dame tenure.

– Five Fighting Irish seniors garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Zach Brenneman (M) and Kevin Ridgway (D) were named to the first team, while Sam Barnes (D) was a second-team pick. David Earl (M) was selected to the third team and Andrew Irving (LSM) was an honorable mention selection.

– A program-record five Notre Dame players were selected in January’s Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Zach Brenneman became the highest pick in program history as he went fifth overall to the Long Island Lizards. – Syracuse led all schools with seven players selected while Notre Dame and Maryland were next with five players drafted. – The Hamilton Nationals selected Fighting Irish midfielder David Earl in the third round (13th overall selection), while defenseman Kevin Ridgway also went to Hamilton five picks later. Long Island tabbed defenseman Sam Barnes in the fifth round (29th overall) and the Denver Outlaws picked long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving in the sixth round (33rd overall).

– Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST according to the league’s 2011 preseason coaches poll. – Syracuse was selected to win the league with six first-place votes, while Notre Dame received one first-place nod. Rounding out the order of finish was Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Rutgers and Providence. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams. – Fighting Irish senior midfielder Zach Brenneman was tabbed as the BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year. – Four Notre Dame student-athletes were named to the 2011 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Joining Brenneman were fellow seniors David Earl (M), a unanimous selection, Sam Barnes (D) and Kevin Ridgway (D).

– The 2011 campaign marks the second season of BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. The seven conference schools that participate in the league are Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova. The teams play a six-game single round-robin regular-season schedule. – Syracuse won the conference title last year with a 6-0 league record. – In 2012, Marquette will be the eighth program to join the BIG EAST in men’s lacrosse. – Men’s lacrosse is the BIG EAST’s 11th men’s sport while the Conference conducts 13 women’s sports. Notre Dame already is a member of the BIG EAST in 23 other sports. – Notre Dame was a member of the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1994-2009. The Fighting Irish captured 12 GWLL regular-season titles in addition to winning the only two GWLL Tournaments (2008 & 2009).

– More than 6,000 Northern California lacrosse fans were treated to a 10-7 Notre Dame victory over Johns Hopkins on Oct 16. The exhibition contest, which was part of the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic, was played at Kezar Stadium. All the proceeds from the game benefitted the BAYS Foundation.

– Notre Dame went 10-7 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST play one season ago. – The Fighting Irish became just the fifth unseeded team to reach the title game of the NCAA Championship and the first since Massachusetts in 2006. The others were Cornell (1988), Towson (1991) and Maryland (1997). – Notre Dame’s 5.75 goals-against average during the 2010 NCAA Championship ranked second all-time behind only North Carolina in 1982 for an entire NCAA Tournament. That Tar Heel squad allowed 15 goals (5.0 per game) during their three games of the tournament en route to winning the title. The 2010 Irish surrendered 23 goals in their four games of the tournament.

– Log onto for the latest information on the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program., the official athletics web site for the University of Notre Dame, features press releases, game stories, feature stories, video interviews, stats, rosters and more. Fans also can sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame. Irish men’s lacrosse fans can sign up to receive scores following each quarter. Updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com. – Media members and fans may be added to the athletics media relations e-mail release list by contacting assistant media relations director Sean Carroll at or (574) 631-2664. All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials and further information on Irish men’s lacrosse should similarly be directed to Carroll. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.